Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ordinaphobia.

Ordinary goes unnoticed. Safe, but unremarkable. It seamlessly blends into our daily routines. Quiet. Careful not to distinguish itself. Ordinary promises acceptance and believability, but delivers mediocrity. If ordinary doesn't get challenged every now and then, society remains stagnant.

Things that are new and different make people uncomfortable. Trends are basically newly accepted ordinary things. If you follow trends, you're always behind. The idea is to take the lead and create a new thing above the trends. The trick is to get your clients past the initial uncomfortable factor. Cue the patience, trust, and insert killer pitch.

"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Alex Bogusky and Colin Drummond gave a great overview of culture and planning on fearless q&a last week. How even people that see themselves as 'unique' long to be part of a like-minded subculture. Drummond mentioned an amazing photographic study on this subject. We pursue individuality and originality, but our basic human instinct to belong contradicts these ambitions.

I know I personally strive to be un-ordinary. Ironically, this includes all of the cliched agency creative traits: Reject the mainstream. Purposely seek things off the beaten path. Extreme confidence offset by moments of self doubt. Biggest fear? Being uninteresting and fading into the background of the ordinary.

 

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